What Happens When A New Yorker Moves To Hawai'i
Start writing a post
Student Life

What Happens When A New Yorker Moves To Hawai'i

Perspective on cities, moving and the self.

What Happens When A New Yorker Moves To Hawai'i

A boy once told me that “New York looked good on me”, as if I draped it over my shoulders like a designer scarf. Now, years later, as I prepare to move away, I begin to understand what he meant.

Cities are like clothes: some are a perfect fit, flattering in style, highlighting your best qualities, but others are awkward and strange, a crooked fit, perhaps bringing out what would be better be concealed.

I tried on Manhattan in middle adolescence, a time of confusion, discovery, and rapid change. At first, it didn’t feel quite right. I had just discovered darkness in the world and felt consumed by the truth my childhood innocence protected me from. The city took these feelings of shock and dismay and threw them upon me, illuminating them as brightly as the lights of Times Square.

As I grew older and spent more time in New York’s impossible grasp, her influence began to show on me. I lived primarily in the East Village and fell deeply into its world. My jeans were ripped, my jackets oversized and colorful, my socks were funky, and my bookbag battered and studded with pins.

By the time I reached young adulthood, my worldview had shifted, and so did the fit of New York upon me. She had induced within me a sense of wonder about the world, an intense curiosity that sparked a fire as it had in so many before me. Besides the darkness I had recognized as truth, beauty began to bloom.

I had a certain confidence in my step as the gridded streets stretched out before me. As I weaved my way through tourists and food carts, it was as though she and I shared a secret no one else knew.

New York became to me a rare vintage find on a rainy day. I embraced her quirks and wore them with pride on my sleeve. I let her words drip from my skin and glitter brightly in my eyes. She had become a part of my being, and you could see her mark upon me.

Now, on the brink of entering my 20s, I am to trade her for yet another place in this world. It is one that is as much a part of me as New York, but with a completely different vibe. The Hawaiian Islands.

As I pack up pieces of my past into cardboard boxes, many are the reminders of the New York version of me. I know not all of them will make the trip. Because when you take off one city, one place, and trade it for another, you are changing a big part of yourself.

A New York girl can never survive as an islander in the Pacific. I will learn different values, a different way of life, and awaken a different side of me. New York will be present but dormant, giving space for Hawai’i to breathe and prosper.

As I unravel New York from my shoulders and wrap Hawai’i around me, I think to myself, will she look good on me too?

Report this Content
This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.

My September Faves

Here are some of my faves during the month of September


Keep Reading... Show less
Student Life

9 Things Tall People Are Tired Of Hearing

Yep. The weather is fine up here... I've totally never heard that before.


Don't get me wrong, I absolutely LOVE being tall. Sometimes I even wish I was taller. One of the downsides of being tall however, is having to put up with ridiculous questions and statements. I can assure that all tall people are tired of being asked what the weather is like "up here", but here are a few other things we don't want to hear anymore.

Keep Reading... Show less
Student Life

30 Signs You're From Wisconsin

When you say Wisconsin, you've said it all!


We truly love it here in the Badger State. Here are a few things Wisconsinites can relate to.

Keep Reading... Show less

Five Types Of People In Fall

From yummy pumpkin spice lattes to scary movies, fall has it all and then some.

Destination Logan County Illinois

Oh fall, the most marvelous time of year...right? Every approaches fall differently, some pumpkin spice-tastically and some not so enthusiastically. We can't all be Autumn lovers, so here are five types of people in fall. Grab a cup of hot coca, sit back, and enjoy.

Keep Reading... Show less

If you're like me, by this time of year you're over summer. The beach, the sunshine, and the heat were all great, but now we're itching for blanket scarves, football, and pumpkin spice EVERYTHING! As the new season approaches, your relationship can benefit from some old traditional dates and some new fresh ideas! Here are a couple great date ideas for you and your boo to try out this fall.

Keep Reading... Show less

Subscribe to Our Newsletter

Facebook Comments